So many of you know this already, but last night Microsoft unveiled the XBOX One. Good luck throwing a rock without hitting an angry gamer: It was not pretty.
I mean sure the system looks fine, has a streamlined version of its old 360 controller, and is a powerful machine so how does one fail as the most popular console out there? You shift your focus. When the big green box known as the Xbox came out I had been a naysayer. The system was large enough to crush small animals and the controller wasn’t much smaller. It had been a system that rode of the coat tails of the Dreamcast and cashed in on a niche of gamers.
I say this grudgingly. But the Xbox 360 is responsible for bringing gaming to the mainstream. They implemented features based around gaming and established an amazing online community. In some ways, Xbox as a whole served as the “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” of the game industry. Because of its popularity it showed the general populace how great games are… and that they’re not just for kids better than any system before it.
Similarly, Game of Thrones making the jump to HBO has done wonders for the fantasy genre (Not to mention sales of the books!). The blend between high and low fantasy, excellent writing, some HBO style T & A, have all brought people to appreciate what a good Fantasy story can bring.
But then… Xbox ruined everything. The unveiling yesterday treated their new system as a glorified TV remote control. This is the sort of thing that I thought Microsoft’s game division had learned sitting on the top of the gaming totem pole.
This is the equivalent of a time traveler slipping out of a wormhole and passing out laser rifles to one of the factions of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.
Above all. They demolished their credibility. There are other factors involved, but that’s for another blog to cover. I consider myself a Fantasy Author, though I dabble in Sci-Fi and other fictions. Imagine if you will, that I made a large announcement that I’m releasing a book. Then at the big reveal I offer a long winded auto-biography with minor fantasy elements. That’s basically what happened here.
No one doubts that bells and whistles are nice. But when they swallow the main concept, in the Xbox One’s case: games, you have failed as a creator.